TannieSpace

geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about cookery

Two more salads.

Homemade salad.

Salad with shrimp.

I made two more salads from the lettuce on balcony. The mini lettuces grew a bit bigger than expected but do deliver ‘one head per person’, which works out great for me.

The first salad I made with one head of mini oak leaf lettuce (weighing in at 74 grams) and some loose leaves (24 grams)[^fn1], and a bunch of rucola flowers. They seem to grow well and the flowers taste sweet. I chopped up some tomatoes and orange bell pepper from the store, and added some chunks of marinated artichoke-hearts. To give it some more protein, I added salad cheese (like feta, but lighter).

The second salad I made with another head of oak leaf lettuce (69 grams) and some loose leaves (20 grams)[^fn2] . I also added rucola flowers, and some red leaves(HG) to give it more colour. I used mostly water pepper which tastes a bit spicy, very nice, and added the rest of the orange pepper. For protein I grilled some shrimp for ten minutes or so in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, chopped scallion(HG) and some parsley(HG).

I try to add more protein to my salads currently. As far as animal protein goes, I can only stomach(pun very much intended) seafood, cheese, eggs and sometimes a bit of yoghurt, which I’ll use for the dressing mostly. Luckily for me they don’t cause any allergic reaction, so yaay for that :)

I seem to do much better with a mostly vegs and fruit base, which brings on some interesting challenges. On the very good side, it doesn’t fill me up very much.

Maybe next time I’ll draw the shrimp before grilling them. Or after, since they have to cool down anyway…

Total harvest: 187 grams of lettuce, woohoo!

*[HG]: HomeGrown


Another day, another salad

Salad with flowers.

Today I made another salad from balcony-greens. I’ve lost track of what greens exactly, though I know I had cut-and-come-again lettuce, some chard, some purslane (I think), and some herbs. It also had a surprising nice amount of fennel in it, which gave the salad a fresher taste. I added some cherry tomatoes(SB(StoreBought)), some chives (HG(HomeGrown)), some salad-cheese(SB(StoreBought)) and a hardboiled egg. Added a blob of slasaus (best described as Dutch salad-Mayonnaise) and a few dried herbs, pepper and salt.

As an extra I added a few of the rucola flowers that started growing on the balcony. They made it look pretty and tasted good too.

Can’t wait for the Indian Cress and violas to flower so I can start add them too!


Cooking with sprouts

Lentil + bok choy dish

I sprouted some lentils and realised I didn’t like the raw taste of them much. I figured I had nothing to lose and heated them up a bit (cooked very briefly in my ricecooker). They got a wonderful nutty flavour from the cooking. I added a bit of ketchup, olive oil, salt and pepper and curry powder, which made it really tasty.

On top of that I roasted the bok choy from my balcony — the weird kind that bolted suddenly — with some sesame oil, ginger and garlic.

I mixed it all together and it tasted wonderful!

I ate it all.


Salads

Partially homegrown salad

Today I made another salad, a great way to let of some steam creativity wise. I read somewhere salads look (and taste) better if they have more colours, so I added some yellow and red and brown to my greens.

I’ve grown some lettuce (cut-and-come-again variety), and today I started eating it. I cut off about 15 grams of it, and added some arugula and garden cress for flavour. I also tossed in a sprout mixture of fenugreek, mustard, daikon and horseradish (last three all fairly spicy). I found some leftover sweet bell pepper (yellow) in the fridge, along with a few cherry tomatoes. After I added those I still felt it needed some more. I chopped up some shiitake mushrooms and grilled them with a sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil (very tasty by itself btw).

When the mushrooms cooled down a bit, I plopped them on the salad and used the small oven-dish to mix up some more soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. I used this as a dressing over the salad, preparing it in the used oven-dish gave it a bit more of a grilled taste, very nice!

I have sown plenty of salad-greens and decided I could use a challenge (oh yes, another challenge!). I want to try my best at not buying any salad greens in the store until at leas way into autumn. This excludes eating out, but includes all salads at home :D

I should get my box of shiitake mushrooms started soon too. It will take a while before I can use my own tomatoes and peppers in my salads, however, I have a lot of greens already. I like salads, I should manage to pull this one off :)

—p.s. recipes for salads and dressing very welcome—


New foods.

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I’ve tried a few gluten-free options this week, including a pre-made gluten-free bread. It doesn’t taste much like wheat-bread and it crumbs easily without having that spongey texture — somewhat like a loaf cake — but it works as a base to spread something (peanutbutter, creame cheese) on and it gave me no issues. Success!

Today I also tried some quinoa with grilled shiitakes and that didn’t go so well. I thought the quinoa did not work for me, however, on testing, it turns out the shiitake caused the problems. When I checked the date it had passed its sell by date for some time already, oops. The rest of the quinoa went well, so I’ll call it success too, hurray!

I found out it helps a lot if I keep on snacking / eating all day long. It prevents those moments I feel blown up because I ate too much. This makes it clear to me I have to stick to eating small meals, because my body can’t handle the bigger once — unlike some other people in my family.

Some time after surgery I went to see a dietician and she told me to eat at least 150 gram potatoes, 200 grams of veggies and a good chunk of meat (100-150 gram) for dinner1. This qualifies as a normal meal, for people with a stomach. This will never ever fit into me during a normal dinnertime. Apart from the amount, the time I need to eat has changed too. It takes longer. I could technically eat the above meal in around 2 hours or so. I don’t like that, I don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes on each meal, unless I go out to eat with friends. I want to have time away from food too :)


  1. This, by the way, despite me telling her at the beginning that I don’t eat meat and she still thought she had to suggest the 100-150 gram portion, and suggest it several times. Stoopid. And tiring. ↩

Homemade white-chocolate-ginger-cheesecake

( with a sauce of caramel and sweet chili, and some chocolate sprinkles.) Homemade white-chocolate-ginger-cheesecake with a sauce of caramel and sweet chili, and some chocolate sprinkles.

  • 200 grams cream cheese
  • 100 grams white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon gingerroot-powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce (roughly)
  • 1 tbsp caramel

Make biscuit bottom (I used readymade, happened to have it…)

Melt chocolate au bain marie, mix in cheese, put in cakeform. Layer over biscuit bottom, put in fridge for an hour or two.

Mix sweet chili sauce with caramel and drip over cake.

Trying to imitate the Wagamama version ;) It turned out slightly runny, but not too bad. Tips to firm it up appreciated.


Birthday gadget :D

Testing birthdaygift (food vacuum sealer) @ #HAR2009

For my birthday I got a Seal-a-meal food-vacuum-sealer. Had to try it out ofcourse, and we only had some green beans to abuse for the goal.

Vacuumed and sealed!

It worked great, turning the beans in a solid package. Now I want to seal up more, but I doubt the neighbours will appreciate the noise in the night. Will try it out tomorrow, probably cook some rice and freeze that in handy packages.


Salad.

Salad After harvesting a bunch of tomatoes and basil I made a tasty salad with mozzarella cheese and some mild peppers (from a jar, yes). It tasted great!

As a dressing I used a simple balsamic vinegar / olive oil mix.


The plants, they grow.

I got a pretty good harvest today, thanks to the sweet pepper-plant I bought. I harvested two of those small peppers, one small cucumber and three little tomatoes (I grow mostly small varieties because the plants usually also stay smaller). What started out as a way to keep the sun out in the summer has turned into this contest with myself, seeing how much of my own food I can grow on my own balcony. No need to blame the recession here, I enjoy doing this ;) I have watched tons of movies on Youtube and read websites about growing your own food and the more I watch the more I realise I could still grow more!

I have this feeling people start to look at me oddly, as if I’ve gone crazy… I haven’t, really ;)


A balcony garden.

With the weather getting hotter I looked at my balcony to see what I want to do with it this year. I browsed the internet and find a whole site about Square Foot Gardening. Though I have limited space, I think I can manage a few boxes about 30cm x 30cm (1’x1’) in a row. Not technically what the site mentions, but close enough.

I have a bunch of strawberry-plants that could go in, and I want more fresh herbs (I hate buying them in the store). Mmm project!


Cooking and such.

I seem to have lost my cooking-foo. The whole meal / menu-planning doesn’t work for me, I can’t figure out the big secret. I did stumble on Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday which hopefully give me some inspiration / ideas on how to tackle this.

I did some laundry and cleaning today and paused for drink and food, and then stumbled upon Kay’s cheese-onion butterflies and I thought ‘oh yes! want those!’ so I chopped up my last onion (oops, how can I run out of onions), got the grated Gouda from the fridge, the puff pastry from the freezer and it went completely wrong. It fell apart and I ended up smashing it a bit. It doesn’t look very presentable anymore, and I put it in the oven anyway.

Not feeling the cooking-love today.

ETA: They tasted very good. Ate them all. Tummy hurts now… Cheese snacks


Random casserole recipe.

I came up with a random casserole recipe by just tossing stuff together. I have tons of cans with food from my compulsive food-buying so I just mixed what I thought would work (my cans are mostly 1 person portions):

  • 1 small can of brown lentils
  • 1 small can of baked beans in tomato-sauce
  • half a courgette (zucchini I believe you weird USians call it)
  • about 200 grams of baked mushrooms (a leftover, baked in butter and garlic salt, tasty!)
  • 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup (at least, I think you call it that, I’d just call it ‘creamy mushroom soup’)
  • two handfuls of grated cheese (ah well, cup, handfuls, who needs exact science!)

I mixed everything together apart from the cheese, put it into oven-dishes, and topped it with cheese. My cans contained about 200 grams of lentils / beans (about 7 US-oz). The soup was a one-person portion, around 230ml / 7.5oz. I don’t think the exact amount really matters, the general idea / proportion counts more. I think replacing either the lentils or beans with ground beef/pork will also work pretty well (I want to try a tofu version some time soon).

I just love courgette and mushroom…

I did forget to season it with pepper and salt and herbs, but it tasted pretty good just like this, probably thanks to the soup being already seasoned. I liked the mixture of creamy soup and tomato sauce.

I put it in my toaster-oven for about half an hour on 400°F / 200°C, but it’s a toaster-oven, so YMMV.

I ate a tasty portion, put another in my bento for tomorrows lunch and have two portions left for later in the week / freezer. Normally this would make two portions I think. Or Maybe one and a half.

My first attempt to cook from my pantry has turned out pretty well. Very pleased :D

Now I have to think of something to cook with my forgotten-but-stil-ok small sweet peppers…


Mmm bread.

I still have issues eating bread, so I’ve made a bit of my own (totally abused my rice-cooker for it too!). I like pita-breads, they seem to work well, so I searched for a recipe and found one. I will cut the recipe into 1/3 (this worked pretty well with my previous bread), because 1/4 means too many calculations and weird things (call me lazy ;) ).

I’ll still make eight, just eight small ones :D

They’ll fit in my bento too!


The Ambitious Monday Meal Plan!

For Monday I have planned the following meals:

  1. Danoontje Snack (curd cheese?)
  2. Breakfast cereal (cornflakes)
  3. Burrito for lunch (pre-made)
  4. Little tomatoes filled with mozzarella balls, sprinkled with herbs and pepper and salt.
  5. Slice of ontbijtkoek
  6. Poffertjes!
  7. A mini babybel or two.
  8. Boiled egg.

For Tuesday I’ll eat oatmeal, with fruit and cinnamon sugar, instead of cornflakes (oh, how I love the timer on my ricecooker). Not sure about lunch or dinner yet, will think about it some more tomorrow.


How do I do mealplanning?

Unfortunately, so far I suck at mealplanning. I know I need to, it helps with eating and all, and because lunch plays such an important part in my day, I think I should plan lunch and dinner.

I don’t mean I have to make a list of lunches and dinner and days and stick to it with my last dying breath. Anything can happen. Mostly I want to have a list I can refer to, that I can fall back on.

I’ve tried googling this, but what I find usually refers to big families and I don’t have the mealplanning-foo to translate that to me as a single very small portion eating person.

Anyone ideas? Links?